Saturday, May 2, 2015

HAD OUR FIRST 100 DEGREE DAY

Currently in Goodyear AZ (Low 65 Sunny and Hot High 96) 

We had our first 100 degree day yesterday this trip in the Valley of the Sun, officially 101 in Phoenix. During our winters here we have had one other 100 degree day and that was when we stayed until mid-April one trip.




This certainly won't be our last one as we will be here until at least late August. Jo has a multi-step treatment plan for the problems with her neck. After that we plan to leave the heat and by then the monsoon season when the rains come and the humidity rises. When we are back here for the winter the pain center will start on her lower back.

We did have some good news when we got back late afternoon yesterday. Without any awnings and in the direct sunlight it was 75 degrees inside while our outside temperature was 100. Now both air conditioners were running all the time but it was comfortable inside. We plan to add some reflective material on the inside of a few windows to help. 

It's HOT!!

Till next time,

Bob and Jo

Thursday, April 30, 2015

WORLD WILDLIFE ZOO

Currently in Goodyear AZ (Low 70 Sunny High 98)

Near the park is the World Wildlife Zoo and Safari Park. This blog entry covers a recent visit to just the zoo, we have yet to visit the safari part.

The Phoenix area has two big zoos the Phoenix Zoo and the World Wildlife Zoo and Safari Park. We have visited both and there are good things about both. Here are some of the animals that we saw.









It was partially a black and white day.







There is also an aquarium that is pretty neat, including this albino alligator (continuing the black and white theme) that would not survive in the wild.




It was a great time to walk around the zoo and aquarium.

Till next time,

Bob and Jo


Friday, April 24, 2015

BURROWING OWLS

Currently in Goodyear AZ (Low 60 Chance Showers High 79)


What are burrowing owls you ask? Burrowing owls are small owls that live in dry, open areas where grasslands, rangelands, agricultural lands, deserts and scrublands are found. These small owls are less than 12 inches tall, have long legs and a short tail, are mostly brown with numerous white or tan spots, and have white eyebrows just above bright yellow eyes. As their name implies, burrowing owls actually make their homes underground. As opposed to the Florida Burrowing Owl that may dig their own burrows, Western Burrowing Owls found in Arizona rely on the abandoned burrows of mammals like ground squirrels, prairie dogs, badgers, coyotes, and foxes.


These cute owls are within walking and easy driving distance from our park. We saw this one from the road.



Then we saw another close to a burrow.


As we got closer the owl moved to a burrow but still kept an eye on us.



There are a lot of things to do while we are here longer than we planned. The outdoor ones like these will probably become fewer and fewer as the heat rises.


Till next time,


Bob and Jo

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

WE SAW 'DO YOU BELIEVE'

Currently in Goodyear AZ (Low 58 Sunny High 88)

'Do You Believe' is a Christian movie so if that is not your cup of tea you can go to your next blog. If it is, you can read on.




We highly, highly recommend this movie. Not only is it one of the best Christian movies we have seen, it is plain and simply a great movie. A great movie has stars and this one does with Mira Sorvino, Sean Astin, Lee Majors, Ted McGinly, etc. A great movie has a great plot; 'Do You Believe' deals with the interactions of 12 people who learn that as it is written in the Book of James, "faith without action is dead".

It is well written, well directed and well acted. If it is still playing in your area you need to see this movie.

Till next time,

Bob and Jo

Monday, April 20, 2015

WE ARE PUBLISHED PHOTOGRAPHERS

Currently in Goodyear AZ (Low 57 Sunny High 89) 

Subtitled: Even a blind pig finds a truffle now and then

We know that we are not the greatest photographers in the world. We certainly don't have the equipment, just relying on a point and shoot automatic camera. We marvel at the shots that Judy of Travels with Emma and Al of The Bayfield Bunch, to name just a couple of the great bloggers and photographers that we follow. But every once in while we get lucky and get a good shot, at least to us. It is incredibly rare when others feel the same way.

We recently were surprised when we got an email from Lake Superior Magazine, the 2014 Minnesota Magazine of the Year. They were looking over the shots on our Flickr site, Bob and Jo Travel Photos, that we took on a recent trip to the Upper Peninsula and was wondering if one of our shots could be published in their magazine.




From the magazine, "The Keweenaw Snow Gauge marks the season's snowfall total and all-time records. (The snowiest winter on the books? 1978-79's 390.4 inches.)" We first had to get permission of our friends Bob and Wilma who agreed to become famous as the first people to be in a published Baskerville photo :-)

We both got a copy of the printed magazine but then we got wondering if it was available online. Lo and behold it is available here, Kitschy Kitchi Gami: Big Stuff by the Big Lake. It is number 16 of 22 "delightfully quirky sideshows for travelers called "roadside attractions or, more simply Big Things", per the magazine article.

We will continue touring this great country and taking photographs that interest us, once we can get out of Goodyear this year that is, maybe another published one is just around the corner :-)

Till next time,

Bob and Jo

Saturday, April 18, 2015

WE FEEL LIKE WE ARE PUTTING DOWN ROOTS

Currently in Goodyear AZ (Low 56 Sunny and Breezy High 88) 

With all the uncertainty of when we will be able to leave we feel like we are putting down roots here in Goodyear. So in honor of National Library Week we got library cards at the Goodyear Branch of the Public Library.



We don't have any problem finding books to read with the exchange libraries in the RV parks across the country. Sometimes there are books that we want to read that are never available. Such a book is "Saint Odd" by Dean Koontz.



Jo really likes the Odd Thomas series and with this being the stunning conclusion she couldn't wait any longer. It gave Bob a chance to get some Jack Reacher novels which we both like.



Jo has an appointment with an orthopedic surgeon next week to rule out any surgical options and to review a recent MRI. After that she will visit the Pain Center again who has a couple more options for her neck and lower back. We will probably be here in May and maybe longer. Since the last two days were perfect for sitting outside we did just that and read some of the books we just got at the library.

Till next time,

Bob and Jo

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

WE SAW A COUPLE OF MOVIES

Currently in Goodyear AZ (Low 55 Mostly Sunny and Windy High 82) 

As the weather gets hotter here in the Valley of the Sun we will see more movies as a main form of our entertainment. We recently saw the movies "Cinderella" and "Kingsman: The Secret Service", one we can recommend and one we cannot.

Cinderella is a retelling of the classic tale.



Kind of like the movie "Titanic" where you know what is going to happen but still a very good movie. Lilly James did a great job as Ella, aka Cinderella, and Cate Blanchett is good in everything she does. This is the movie we recommend.

We just saw "Kingsman: The Secret Service" yesterday.



Truth be told we still aren't sure about this movie except to say with all that uncertainty we don't recommend it. The Kingsman are a secret intelligence service that only recruits a new member when one dies. The movie starts out OK with a semi-comic semi-serious take on training for the service with a little silliness thrown in. Then it is like another director took over about half way as it cranks up the violence, sexual content and silliness to an absurd level. We weren't ready to get up and walk out but this movie came as close to that as any have for a long time.

Movies to see in the near future are: "Woman in Gold", "Insurgent" and "The Longest Ride" all out now. Those seem interesting but we are really looking forward to the Marvel movies coming out later, especially the next Avengers on May 1st.

Till next time,

Bob and Jo

Thursday, April 9, 2015

FOODIE UPDATE

Currently in Goodyear AZ (Low 48 Sunny High 80)

Our recent trip to Porter's Cafe inspired us to try some more foodie adventures. Here are some winners from the Phoenix area.

Fractured Prune



Quirky source of create-your-own donuts with a variety of glazes and toppings. They make the donuts right in front of you and then add the glaze and topping you choose. Bob had the caramel bliss which had a caramel glaze and mini chocolate chips for a topping. 



Jo had the strawberry shortcake which had a strawberry glaze and graham cracker and powdered sugar as toppings. 



Both of them were excellent, fresh and warm. The chain started in Ocean City, Maryland and has valley locations in Chandler, Glendale, Phoenix and Tempe and across the nation. Give them a try if in your area, they are incredible.

Sal's Gilbert Pizza



We saw this on Diners, Drive Ins and Dives and just had to eat here. We like pasta, and we like pizza, but would have never thought to combine them but Sal's does. On DDD they fixed Guy a baked ziti pizza, New York style pizza crust with baked ziti and mozzarella and pink sauce (a marinara and cream combo). 



We both had a lunch special of a slice of pizza, salad and a drink. Jo had the baked ziti pizza and Bob had the spaghetti and meatballs pizza. We really, really like the combination. We got a slice of lasagne pizza and an order of bolognese meat sauce with angel hair pasta to go. Our friends had the traditional veggie and meatlover varieties and said both were very good. They also fixed Guy a chicken marsala pizza which is on our list for next time. We are making plans to visit this place again before we leave even though it is about an hour away, it was that good.

The Pork Shop



In Queen Creek this old fashioned butcher shop is amazing. The smoked pork chops are some of the best we have had. They make a breakfast sausage with green chile that we also have had so we bought some of both. Added to our shopping was old fashioned ring bologna, cheddar cheese bacon smoked brats, and maple breakfast sausage. Looks like we have some eating at home in our future too.

Till next time,

Bob and Jo

Friday, April 3, 2015

CATCHING UP, PART 2 (PORTER'S CAFE AND PLANS

Currently in Goodyear AZ (Low 55 Sunny and Breezy High 86) 

We recently took a day trip drove to Globe first stopping at Porter's Cafe in Superior. 




Thanks to Jim and Sandy of Where Are the Dixon's for this recommendation, it was one of the better hamburgers we have had. Bob had the Superior Burger with green chile and bacon and cheese, the fries were good and the pasta salad was amazing. How amazing you ask?



We never remember to get food photos because we are always ready to dig in once the food gets there. The inside was interesting with dollar bills and flags.





The drive from Superior to Globe was scenic with very few places to pull over so we don't have many photos. We did catch the clouds hanging into the canyon which we thought was neat.




Another thing we found fascinating was these cows, or should we call them mountain cows, clinging to the side of the mountain.




It was a little disappointing that "The World's Smallest Museum" was closed. Before we leave we hope to see some more cactus blooms before we leave. We will be in the valley for a little while longer as Jo is wrapping up her visits to a pain center for her neck and back issues.

Till next time,

Bob and Jo

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

CATCHING UP, PART 1 (CACTUS BLOOMS)

Currently in Goodyear AZ (Low 60 Sunny and Breezy High 86) 

As others have said winter time saps the blogging mojo. Being in one place for a few months isn't good for our blogging. Plus the record heat that we have had recently has also slowed us down. The BWE is in full effect as we are setting record highs that one day was 17 degrees above normal. We still are having fun though. We recently went looking for cactus blooms in White Tank Mountain Regional Park. 


The saguaros are always a treat and there were a bunch here.



Turns out we were a little early for most of the blooms but we saw some good ones.





Here is one up close and personal.



We'll have another blog entry shortly on a great hamburger and drive and an update on our plans.

Till next time,

Bob and Jo

Thursday, March 19, 2015

THOUGHTS FROM ESCAPADE

Currently in Goodyear AZ (Low 55 Rain and Clouds High 80) 

We spent last week in Tucson at the 55th Escapade; a combination of fellowship with other members of the Escapees RV Club (aka SKPs), fun and education. A few observations:

Never underestimate the power of the Escapade curse. Long time readers will recall that this is probably the 3rd or 4th Escapade we have tried to attend. The M and M issues seemed to rear their heads, medical and mechanical, preventing our attendance. We got to the Escapade and parked and got setup.




We went to the opening ceremony and the evening entertainment, then the curse reared its ugly head. Jo got sick and was sick the rest of the time in Tucson and a couple of days after we got back to Goodyear. We saw the doctor immediately after we got back and he thought it was a stomach flu. Took about a week but it ran its course. We have learned to never underestimate the power of the Escapade curse :-(

Bob was able to attend most of the seminars and walked around the vendor floor although he did get dehydrated one day and had to take it easy, that dang ole curse again. He did experience a little satellite envy while walking around the roughly 850 rigs in attendance.



We just have the smaller one, we can honestly say we have not seen a dish that big on top of an RV before.

It was great to hear Kay Peterson (co-founder of the Escapees RV Club) in person but it was an absolute honor when Bob was able to meet her, even if only very briefly. As you can imagine she was swarmed wherever she went.

This was our first big rally after attending the Oregon Cascaders smaller rally last year. There was more to do at the big rally and lots of seminars to choose from but it seemed like Bob was always heading somewhere to the next thing. The smaller rally was more intimate and less hectic and will probably be our choice for the near future, considering the curse of course.

March Madness begins today so Bob will be a hermit for the next 4 days watching basketball games all day long. 16 games will be on TV today on 4 networks.




There will be 16 tomorrow and 8 games each on Saturday and Sunday. His brackets are filled out and he is ready for the best sporting event ever. His Iowa State Cyclones are in the tourney again and are the 2nd game this morning.

Till next time,

Bob and Jo

Monday, March 9, 2015

ON THE ROAD AGAIN - TO TUCSON ARIZONA

Currently in Tucson AZ (Low 48 Plenty of Sun High 78)

We left Goodyear yesterday and headed to Escapade in Tucson.


It was approximately 155 miles, here is the route we took.




Here we are parked in our 50a FHU site at the Pima County Fairgrounds, one of only four 50a sites available.



Here is to the left showing all the RVs and the mountains in the distance.




We attended the opening ceremony and the best thing was the talk by Kay Peterson, cofounder of the Escapees RV Club who gave a wonderfully funny talk. We had great entertainment last night, "The Rivoli Revue", if you ever get the chance to see them we highly recommend them. Best known for the youtube sensation of "Press 1 for English" they also spent a year in Branson and was named best new show and best female singer. But the open road beckoned and they hit the road again in their RV.

Today began with a full schedule of seminars and seeing the latest from the vendors. We also plan on stopping in and talking to the service department at La Mesa while here this week. Our plan is to be back in Goodyear on Friday. 

Till next time,

Bob and Jo

Sunday, March 8, 2015

WHERE DID THE WINTER GO?

Currently in Goodyear AZ (Low 42 Currently Mostly Sunny 46)
Heading to Tucson AZ (Currently 49 Partly Sunny High 77) 

Where did the winter go? Or at least our winter, the Valley of the Sun winter :-)

This winter has been the winter of the new home. We put our life on hold for most of the winter either waiting for the delivery or getting the place organized. There were people we wanted to meet up with that we have not and things we thought we might do this winter. All for this



We did see a few movies and "American Sniper" was one of them.



We both thought it was an incredible movie and should have won more awards than it did. Bradley Cooper was amazing. When all the controversy erupted we decided not to blog about it at that time because we were afraid we would not be very civil to the idiots that were badmouthing the movie.

We are off to Tucson today for the Escapees Escapade, the annual gathering of the Escapees RV Club with seminars and vendors, entertainment and food.



We will be back in Goodyear on Friday and will be there until at least the end of March (more on that later).

Till next time,

Bob and Jo